A Culture of Support: The Practice Strengths of Mental Health Professionals and Social Workers Who Identify as Survivors of Interpersonal Violence.

Summer 2016

T. Christopher Crandall : Interdisciplinary Studies Field

DeBenedetti L&S
Mentor: Brian Powers

The purpose of my research is to examine the current status of trauma-informed mental health treatment and practices, and to explore emerging and best practices in the field. Of particular interest is the provision of services to victims and survivors of interpersonal violence (IPV) by mental health practitioners and social service providers who identify as survivors of violence themselves. This appears to be a new area of research as little in the way of literature is currently available on the subject. My data will be drawn from a questionnaire widely distributed to practitioners and providers working with IPV traumatized client populations, as well as from in-person interviews with the same. Both instruments have been developed to provide specific insight into how survivor-identified practitioners and providers approach, define, and treat issues of IPV-related trauma. 

I would like to express my heart-felt gratitude to the SURF program and to the DeBenedetti Foundation for providing me with the opportunity to perform this research. Survivor-informed service provision within areas of trauma-informed treatment and mental health services appears to be an underrepresented phenomenon in research. It is my hope and intention that the work I do will support a continuing dialogue on this subject, both in practice and research.